Choosing Courage Over Comfort

A BA Woman

BA Women's Words

November 5, 2019

Each week a BA Woman contributes to our BA Women's Words—a bloglette posted on Friday mornings where we tackle gendered issues to advance the educational, personal, and professional development of women who seek to make a difference in the world. 

Read on for EmpowHERing words by confident women living dynamic, complex lives. Have something to explore, share, declare, or celebrate with us?
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On Taco Tuesday, something unusual happened. Instead of raucous laughter punctuated by the dull clink of plastic margarita glasses, there was silence.

My friend Caroline repeated what had stunned us all into silence: she had asked her job to pay for part of her grad school tuition—and they’re doing it! As a woman new to my career, I didn’t know a “professional development budget” was even a thing. This was even more compelling than a $1.50 taco.

And how did Caroline do it? Well, at first she thought those funds were reserved for more senior, established members of the team. But then, she said she channeled our new favorite author and Netflix star, Brené Brown:

“I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both.”

It was scary for Caroline to make the ask, and she thought her boss might turn her down or find her somehow unworthy of this investment. But what's scarier: thinking that the persistent feeling of unworthiness, or the perception that others don't believe in your potential, is there to stay. Caroline decided she wanted to live in the arena, so she rallied her courage, and it's paying off. So, thoroughly inspired, we ordered another round of tacos, and started our own planning of what’s possible, with a deeper understanding of who is in the arena with us and what resources might be available to help us sparkle.

We also decided to learn more about this Brené Brown courage-building business.

So on Monday, to double down on my Live-In-The-Arena skill building, I’m asking my boss if they’ll fund my ticket to BA Women’s upcoming "Dare to Lead™: Rumbling with Vulnerability" workshop, built on Brené Brown's genius. (I bet Caroline already has a ticket!) And I hope you rumble with your own vulnerabilities, to ask for what you deserve. Because this I know: you're worthy of investment, and I'm right there, in the arena with you.

Choosing courage over comfort,

P.s. Learn more about November 15th’s “Dare to Lead™” workshop. You can buy your ticket or donate a ticket for a young professional here.

A BA Woman

A BA Woman is a member of our community who has a perspective to share, ideas to spread, and words worth hearing. She's tenacious, compassionate, and lifts as she climbs. She's totally BA. She could be anyone—her words are relatable because she gets us like no one else.

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